A Piggy Interview WithAndy Quirk and Anna J (First World Problems)

Performers: Andy Quirk and Anna J
Photograph by: Reuben Thompson
Show: First World Problems
Venue: Espionage - Kasbar Room
Promoter: Indie
Online: Box Office Facebook Website


Tell me about your Edinburgh show.

Part rap concert, part group therapy – we invite the audience to join our crew in railing against the irks of modern living. The show follows the awkward relationship between East London’s Premier Rapper of First World Problems and his surly backup dancer whilst also pulling in the crew to provide backing vocals, handclaps, hi-hat impressions and more. It’s musical nonsense where self-consciousness is left at the door and everyone has a good time.


Tell me about your first gig.

It was at a regular open mic I used to do and up until then I’d be armed with a guitar and some whimsical observational material. That night I plugged in an iPod and ranted in rhyming couplets for 3 minutes about people using their phones when in company. It was the best reaction I’d ever had. The guitar is currently gathering dust. Anna J joined the show last year, her first appearance being on day one of Edinburgh 2017.


Do you have any rituals before going on stage?

I drink a coke and a real ale. Seriously, in conjunction it’s pure rocket fuel.


Tell me about your best and worst review.

Our best review contained vast numbers of quotable lines about audience enthusiasm and stagecraft, making it our best, but by the end of it you still had pretty much no idea what the show was actually about or what we did in it, making it also our worst.


During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?

If we get a chance. There’s a lot of running around to guest spots this year for us.


How do you feel about reviewers generally?

Everyone is a reviewer nowadays and we’re at peace with that.


In April 2018, YouTube comedian, Markus Meechan (aka Count Dankula) was fined £800 for training his girlfriend’s pug dog to do a Nazi salute with its paw, in response to the phrase ‘Gas the Jews’. Do you believe Meechan committed a criminal offence, and why?  

No, though the stunt was in bad taste. However, you should never trust a pug. Ever.


Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?

I think that a good comic can make even the darkest subjects funny. The problem comes when someone without the skills to do so tries it.


Have you ever gone too far?

I fell off the front of the stage once if that counts.


Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.

Probably a recent show at the Brighton Fringe. It was packed out and the audience were so up for it. We shouted the place down and a man in his seventies punched the air pretty much throughout, save a short nap in the middle.

Andy Quirk and Anna J was talking to Wrigley Worm.

Published Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Find Andy Quirk and Anna J on the web -

Previous Q&A
Next Q&A